APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 5307
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:08 am

Image Unraveling NGC 3169

Explanation: Bright spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (left) and neighboring NGC 3166 interact gravitationally, a common fate even for bright galaxies in the local universe. In fact, drawn out stellar arcs and plumes, indications of gravitational interactions, seem rampant in the deep and colorful galaxy group photo. The picture spans 20 arc minutes, or about 400,000 light-years at the group's estimated distance, and includes smaller, dimmer NGC 3165 at the right. NGC 3169 is also known to shine across the spectrum from radio to X-rays, harboring an active galactic nucleus that is likely the site of a supermassive black hole.

<< Previous APOD This Day in APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8406
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by owlice » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:42 am

What a beautiful and interesting shot!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

starsurfer
Stellar Cartographer
Posts: 5267
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:25 am

Without a doubt, this is currently the most detailed and greatest image of this amazing galaxy pair!! With all the interaction and peculiarities, it's a mystery that Halton Arp didn't include it in his catalogue of peculiar galaxies. Also, this is Adam Block's first APOD of the year!!! :D I know that Ann will be very happy! Also the description states that the image spans 20 arcminutes, to be exact it is 22 arcminutes as that is the field of view of the 32 inch telescope and the camera used.

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1836
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:29 am

http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1114a/
This video from the ESO (linked in the Apod text) is really useful for getting some idea of depth. I realise that this is subjective and that the real depth of field is probably beyond comprehension, but it helped me! :ssmile:
Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

User avatar
emc
Equine Locutionist
Posts: 1307
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:15 pm
AKA: Bear
Location: Ed’s World

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by emc » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:23 pm

Image
Ed
Casting Art to the Net
Sometimes the best path is a new one.

Boomer12k
:---[===] *
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:07 am

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:04 pm

It is a Smiley Face...The Smiley Face Galaxies!!! :D

What did one galaxy say to the other galaxy? I am SMILING AT YOU!!!!

Great Picture. Awesome effects of gravity being displayed.

:---[===] *

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by neufer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:21 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
emc wrote:
Image
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
emc
Equine Locutionist
Posts: 1307
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:15 pm
AKA: Bear
Location: Ed’s World

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by emc » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:34 pm

:D Art in movement… just like the galaxies!
Ed
Casting Art to the Net
Sometimes the best path is a new one.

User avatar
Psnarf
Science Officer
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by Psnarf » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:44 pm

As always, I'm fascinated by all of the galaxies in the background, particularly in the lower half of the image. There's a lot going on out there!

Remind me to get SkyCenter tickets! I'm saving up for remote access :saturn:
http://skycenter.arizona.edu/
[There's a photo of Adam Block on the main page.]

--
Henry Pfeil
Principal Support Systems Analyst [retired]
University of Arizona

nz1m
Ensign
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:34 am

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by nz1m » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:12 pm

Would Andromeda and the Milky Way appear this close together from 70 M light years away?

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by neufer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:41 pm

nz1m wrote:
Would Andromeda and the Milky Way appear this close together from 70 M light years away?
  • No.
"The [APOD] spans... about 400,000 light-years at the group's estimated distance, and includes smaller, dimmer NGC 3165 at the right.

<<The Andromeda Galaxy is ~2,500,000 light-years from Earth>>
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 13295
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by Ann » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:33 pm

As usual when Adam Block produces galaxy images, the color information they convey is absolutely fascinating.

NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 certainly look like an old cantankerous married couple who have flared up in spectacular outbursts during their long life together. In their youth, they danced a violent tango, spitting fire and brimstone and exploding in blotches of rosy red nebulae and brilliant blue young stars. Now, however, they are tired and spent, remembering old glories as their old fires grow yellow and dim.

Look at NGC 3166! Only wisps remain of its once mighty dust lanes. Remnants of a blue ring can be seen encircling its innermost yellow center, but not a single young cluster can be seen among its well-mixed middle-aged stellar denizens. NGC 3166 has an oblong outer ring, typically brighter "at its oblong ends", making this structure look a bit like a bar. Again, no signs of clusters can be seen anywhere. But the yellow center burns brightly, harboring the consequences of its youthful antics, a supermassive black hole.

The companion of NGC 3166, its old mate, NGC 3169, retains more of its youthful power. The ashes of its many outbursts, a thick dust lane, winds around its bulge, tosses and turns in mighty cascades and prodigiously reddens the light from its center. Young stars are still born from this dust, as can be seen from the obvious clusters and many small splotches of pink, the cradles of the newborn stars. Still, the fireworks of star formation here are probably nothing compared with what they were when the galaxies first met, when so much of their gas and dust was available for star formation, and so little of it had been funneled into the galaxies' ever-growing and ever hungrier central black holes.

Two dwarf galaxies can be seen to the right of NGC 3166. They are very different; the lower one, NGC 3165, has a high surface brightness, is completely dominated by the light of young blue stars, and it is still actively forming stars. Four or five pink emission nebulae are spread over the face of this galaxy at fascinatingly regular intervals. Its shape is reminiscent of a dancing child, with a bar-like "body" and incipient spiral arms that could be the galaxy child's head and legs.

The upper dwarf galaxy has such a low surface brightness that my software has no name for it. It is diaphanous, delicate and ethereal, a ghostly apparition in the heavens. But this faint dwarf galaxy has one thing in common with its bright blue dwarf "colleague": both have small bright blue nuclei.

If you think I have sounded unnecessarily solemn, sounding as if I was reading a poem, well, Adam Block's galaxy images do that to me!

Ann
Color Commentator

dlw
Ensign
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:43 pm
Location: California

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by dlw » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:18 pm

Since they are interacting, why don't both galaxies show similar distortions? 3169 seems very distorted while 3166 appears very smooth.

User avatar
Anthony Barreiro
Turtles all the way down
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: San Francisco, California, Turtle Island

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:24 pm

Ann wrote:As usual when Adam Block produces galaxy images, the color information they convey is absolutely fascinating.

NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 certainly look like an old cantankerous married couple who have flared up in spectacular outbursts during their long life together. ...

...

If you think I have sounded unnecessarily solemn, sounding as if I was reading a poem, well, Adam Block's galaxy images do that to me!

Ann
Poetic, yes. Solemn, no. Your evocative description prompted me to look at these galaxies more closely and helped me see more of their history. Thanks.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 13295
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by Ann » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:42 pm

I'm very glad you appreciated it, Anthony! Thanks so much for your kind words.

Ann
Color Commentator

FloridaMike
Science Officer
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:21 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by FloridaMike » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:41 pm

Ann wrote:As usual when Adam Block produces galaxy images, the color information they convey is absolutely fascinating.

NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 certainly look like an old cantankerous married couple who have flared up in spectacular outbursts during their long life together. In their youth, they danced a violent tango, spitting fire and brimstone and exploding in blotches of rosy red nebulae and brilliant blue young stars. Now, however, they are tired and spent, remembering old glories as their old fires grow yellow and dim.

Look at NGC 3166! Only wisps remain of its once mighty dust lanes. Remnants of a blue ring can be seen encircling its innermost yellow center, but not a single young cluster can be seen among its well-mixed middle-aged stellar denizens. NGC 3166 has an oblong outer ring, typically brighter "at its oblong ends", making this structure look a bit like a bar. Again, no signs of clusters can be seen anywhere. But the yellow center burns brightly, harboring the consequences of its youthful antics, a supermassive black hole.

The companion of NGC 3166, its old mate, NGC 3169, retains more of its youthful power. The ashes of its many outbursts, a thick dust lane, winds around its bulge, tosses and turns in mighty cascades and prodigiously reddens the light from its center. Young stars are still born from this dust, as can be seen from the obvious clusters and many small splotches of pink, the cradles of the newborn stars. Still, the fireworks of star formation here are probably nothing compared with what they were when the galaxies first met, when so much of their gas and dust was available for star formation, and so little of it had been funneled into the galaxies' ever-growing and ever hungrier central black holes.

Two dwarf galaxies can be seen to the right of NGC 3166. They are very different; the lower one, NGC 3165, has a high surface brightness, is completely dominated by the light of young blue stars, and it is still actively forming stars. Four or five pink emission nebulae are spread over the face of this galaxy at fascinatingly regular intervals. Its shape is reminiscent of a dancing child, with a bar-like "body" and incipient spiral arms that could be the galaxy child's head and legs.

The upper dwarf galaxy has such a low surface brightness that my software has no name for it. It is diaphanous, delicate and ethereal, a ghostly apparition in the heavens. But this faint dwarf galaxy has one thing in common with its bright blue dwarf "colleague": both have small bright blue nuclei.

If you think I have sounded unnecessarily solemn, sounding as if I was reading a poem, well, Adam Block's galaxy images do that to me!

Ann
*like*
Certainty is an emotion. So follow your spindle neurons.

saturno2
Commander
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by saturno2 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:12 pm

Ann
His description of this astronomical object is poetry in prose.
Very well. I like

User avatar
DavidLeodis
Perceptatron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:00 pm

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by DavidLeodis » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:05 pm

Another great image by Adam Block.

In the information brought up through the "in this cosmic scene" link it states "Dates Month XX th, 20XX" which Adam may perhaps be unaware of.

User avatar
DavidLeodis
Perceptatron
Posts: 1169
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 1:00 pm

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by DavidLeodis » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:50 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:Another great image by Adam Block.

In the information brought up through the "in this cosmic scene" link it states "Dates Month XX th, 20XX" which Adam may perhaps be unaware of.
As I seem unable to edit my post immediately above I am posting this one. I've noticed the date in the image information now reads "Dates: January - February 2013". Thanks to Adam and/or whoever for correcting the date. :)

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: Unraveling NGC 3169 (2013 Mar 28)

Post by neufer » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:33 pm

DavidLeodis wrote:
As I seem unable to edit my post immediately above I am posting this one.
There is a time limit (24 hr :?: ) on self editing.
Art Neuendorffer